Text # 40 Student with Down Syndrome Saves Grandmother

Therese Smith says she always will be grateful to her 20-year-bld grandson for saving her life when she choked on her morning pills.

But the 81-year-old Town of Tonawanda woman also marvels at how the young man, who was born with Down syndrome, knew how to administer the Heimlich maneuver.

"I was choking", she recalled of the harrowing incident, which occurred three weeks ago. "I was petrified. I didn't know what to do".

David Freund had just learned about two weeks earlier how to perform the lifesaving act from his father, Jerry Freund, who had heard about the Heimlich from a radio program. He decided his son should know, too, and practiced the moves with him.

At first David's mother, Patty Freund, also of the Town of Tonawanda, worried that her son wouldn't know when he should or shouldn't do the Heimlich and feared he might not know his strength and accidentally hurt someone.

"What if he does it to someone who doesn't need it?" she remembered asking her former husband.

Patty Freund, the principal at St. Gregory the Great School in Amherst, said her son, the oldest of her three children, functions at an academic level of a first- or second-grader and his independence level is about that of a 10- or 11 -year-old. He is a junior at Kenmore East High School.

"He's just a terrific person", she said. "He's a very loving and caring young man. He works real hard. He loves life".

On November 11, she dropped her son off at his grandmother's house to spend the night so she could attend a Buffalo Sabres game with friends.

The next morning, as David Freund was getting cereal out for breakfast, Smith took her pills in the living room and started to choke.

"I couldn't get it to go up; I couldn't get it to go down", she recalled. "I have breathing difficulties, too. I didn't know what to do".

Her grandson said he knew something was wrong.

"I heard Grandma", he said.

Smith said her grandson approach her and "never said a word".

"He came right around and did the Heimlich maneuver", and the pill popped out.

The grandson said he performed the move exactly as his father taught him.

"I grab my hands and Grandma's stomach ... and Grandma can breathe", he said.

Smith was amazed by her grandson's swift reaction and wonders what she would have done if he hadn't been there that morning. "It was just like he was supposed to do that", she said.

Patty Freund, meanwhile, was both stunned and proud.

"I was shocked that he would remember what to do — and relieved", she said. "He's very strong. My mother is very frail at 81. My fear was, "Did he break her rib because he's so strong?" But he didn't hurt her".

David Freund's action didn't go unnoticed.

His classmates at Kenmore East presented him a certificate for his heroics.

"People don't give persons with disabilities enough credit", Patty Freund said. "They don't give them opportunities to show themselves. But without asking and without prompting, he was able to figure out what to do, and I think that's incredible. People say he's retarded. But he's wise in his ways".

She also made sure to sit her son down and tell him what a remarkable thing he had done.

"I told him he was a hero", the mother said. "He was his grandma's hero".

I. Mark if the following statements: T) correspond to the contents of the text; F) do not correspond to the contents of the text

1. 21-years old boy prevented her grandmother from being strangled.

2. It was quiet unusual for a student with Down syndrome to rescue someone.

3. This horrible accident happened more than fortnight ago.

4. David Freund was taught the lifesaving act by his doctor.

5. David was thought to be a considerate boy.

6. David’s mother left him at the grandmother’s place to buy some medicine.

7. When the accident took place David was watching TV in the living room.

8. Everybody was astonished by David’s deed.

9. His schoolmates didn’t pay attention to this incredible event.

10. Mrs. Freund considered her boy not to be half-witted.

II. Multiple choices.

1. Therese Smith marveled at David’s ability to administer the Heimlich maneuver. It means …

a) she was scared that he could hurt her.

b) she was delighted that her grandson was so strong and brave.

c) she was surprised by his actions.

2. David’s mother was afraid that

a) someone might hurt him accidentally.

b) someone would tease him on purpose.

c) someone might be hurt by chance.

3. David’s mother was …

a) a housewife.

b) a head mistress.

c) a doctor.

4. David Freund was …

a) the only child in the family.

b) has two siblings.

c) the youngest child in the family.

5. When the accident took place, David …

a) called for help.

b) carried out the procedure himself.

c) stiffened with astonishment.

6. People with disabilities are …

a) teased and tricked by others.

b) restricted to prove themselves.

c) social outcasts.


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